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Nov. 23, 2015 — PIAA realignment, epilogue

Seven weeks ago, we wrote this. And a week later, this.

So, over the weekend, the official PIAA three-division realignment for field hockey and two-division alignment for girls’ lacrosse came out.

In field hockey, the actual cutoffs used were a bit different from what this site predicted. Whereas our projected cutoffs for enrollment were 300 and 500 students for the lower two classifications, the PIAA went with 281 and 486. This does affect a couple of teams from our original projections; Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.) and U-21 national-teamer Erin Matson are now with the largest schools, which is now called Class AAA. Selinsgrove (Pa.) is now with the middle division, now called Class AA.

So, here are some of the prominent field hockey programs that will highlight the three new PIAA divisions:

Class AAA: Allentown William Allen (Pa.), Buckingham Central Bucks East (Pa.), Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.), Emmaus (Pa.), Landisville Hempfield (Pa.), Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.), Stroudsburg (Pa.), Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.), Lititz Warwick (Pa.), Ambler Wissahickon (Pa.).

Class AA: Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.), Wilkes-Barre James M. Coughlin (Pa.), Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.), Hershey (Pa.), Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), Flourtown Mount St. Joseph Academy (Pa.), Palmyra (Pa.), Selinsgrove (Pa.), Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.), Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.).

Class A: Wilkes-Barre Holy Redeemer (Pa.), Lehman Lake-Lehman (Pa.), Lehighton (Pa.), Middleburg Midd-West (Pa.), Mifflinburg (Pa.), Bethlehem Moravian Academy (Pa.), Oley (Pa.) Valley, West Lawn Wilson (Pa.), Exeter Wyoming Area (Pa.), Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.).

In girls’ lacrosse, we made the supposition that the cutoff for the small-school division would be 449; the PIAA went with 441. What that does is move West Chester B. Reed Henderson (Pa.) from the small-school division (Class AA) to the large-school division (Class AAA).

Here’s a look at some of the prominent girls’ lacrosse schools in the two new divisions:

Class AAA: Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.), Glen Mills Garnet Valley (Pa.), Malvern Great Valley (Pa.), Harriton (Pa.), Manheim (Pa.) Central.

Class AA: Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), Fawn Grove Kennard-Dale (Pa.), Lancaster (Pa.) Catholic, Radnor (Pa.), Center Valley Southern Lehigh (Pa.).

The personalities of the PIAA tournaments will change in both sports. Although the usual powerhouses will prosper in the short term, I believe that, especially in field hockey, the ability of more teams from different areas to make the tournament may affect the level of competition in several areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As we suspected, the new Class AA tournament will be a Murderers’ Row of prominent teams. But we also think that Class AAA will be a golden opportunity for teams from both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to make a deep run into the tournament. Class A will also showcase a lot of small towns in the eastern third of the state, especially in areas of suburban Philadelphia and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

As for girls’ lacrosse, I think the District 1 schools will exert an unusual influence in the small-school AA tournament, since they have a third of the PIAA-member schools that play the sport. I think the Class AAA tournament will be more wide-open in the first couple of years.

Overall, it’s going to be an exciting time.

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1 Comment»

[…] All three of these teams are expected to contend for postseason championships. And whereas the CIF San Diego Section changed its format from two tournaments to three, the same is happening in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. […]


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